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Apple's long-rumored headset is reportedly getting a new name for its software: 'xrOS'

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Apple is changing the name of the operating software for its long-rumored mixed-reality headset to "xrOS" from "realityOS," Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Apple did not respond to Insider's immediate request for comment before publication. 

Development of the headset first began seven years ago, per Bloomberg, and it is set to be released next year. When it launches, the AR/VR headset will mark the company's first new product group since the Apple Watch was released in 2015.

The name change provides a glimpse into the gadget's features as the tech giant ramps up its development efforts, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. 

'XR' refers to extended reality, which means the product will likely include both augmented reality — which refers to an overlay of visual elements or information on the real world — and virtual reality — which refers to completely immersive environments.

The mixed-reality operating system will encompass new versions of popular Apple apps like Messages and Maps, Bloomberg reported. Third parties will be able to create their own games and apps using the software.

In addition to the software, Apple may also name the headset hardware "xrOS, "Bloomberg reported, citing trademark applications from Deep Dive, a shell company that may be owned by Apple.

In August of this year, Immersive Health Solutions, a company that is reportedly also tied to Apple, filed trademark applications linked to the headset for the names "Reality One," "Reality Pro," and "Reality Processor," Insider reported.

The headset itself is expected to contain 12 cameras that track the wearer's hand and eye movements, and could cost $3,000, The Information reported. 

In November, Apple's Technology Development Group — the secretive unit allegedly developing the headset's operating system, per Bloomberg — posted job listings for engineers to work on visual effects and 3D graphics to build out the headset, Insider reported.

The Apple headset could rival similar products like Meta's Quest Pro, Facebook's Oculus Quest, and Sony's Playstation VR headset, as major tech companies vie to lay claim to the metaverse.

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